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Research & Education
While trends in health and fitness come and go, the concept of improving health with water goes all the way back to ancient times. In the 5th century BC Hippocrates first prescribed bathing in spring water to relieve illness and evidence of using water to treat various health issues is found in Egyptian, Japanese, Persian and Roman civilizations. Modern aquatic therapy has come a long way from bathing in hot springs to a scientific field with dedicated equipment and many specialized techniques.
The term “aquatic therapy” can refer to a wide range of activities, but it is essentially therapy conducted in water with the purpose of recovering from injury or improving conditioning. Aquatic therapy uses the resistance and buoyancy of water to provide a rehabilitation environment that allows patients to increase mobility and strength without joint stress, with less pain and without the fear of falling. The terms aquatic therapy and water therapy are used interchangeably, whereas the term hydrotherapy is often used outside of the US and may also refer to any other general water-based therapy including spa and mineral water therapy.
There are as many methods of aquatic therapy as there are conditions that require treatment. Many physical therapy facilities include exercise pools for therapists to integrate water therapy into recovery programs. These programs may utilize underwater treadmills, resistance therapy jets, resistance bands, variable water depths, floatation rings or simply therapist-directed movement.
The primary benefit of aquatic therapy is increasing physical ability without impact. Professional athletes use a variety of aquatic therapy techniques for both injury recovery and strength conditioning. Underwater treadmills allow competitive runners to increase the intensity of their workouts without adding significant joint strain while massage jets can help speed muscle recovery time. Aquatic therapy is often recommended to patients with arthritis, fibromyalgia, orthopedic pain and neuromuscular or neurological conditions in order to help reduce pain and increase strength. Many elderly individuals find aquatic therapy to be an excellent treatment for arthritis, as well as improving strength and flexibility without the risk of falling. As the nation continues to battle the obesity epidemic, aquatic therapy is being used to help overweight patients lose weight without placing undue strain on their knees. A study conducted by Texas A&M University showed that subjects attempting weight loss utilizing an underwater treadmill increased lean muscle faster than using a treadmill on land, and the majority preferred the water therapy overall.
Since 1998, we have been offering underwater treadmills and resistance therapy jets as standard features in all of our therapy and fitness pools. HydroWorx is the premier supplier of aqua therapy products to physical therapy clinics, hospitals senior living facilities, athletics departments and military training programs. We offer a full line of pools for swimming therapy with moveable floors that allow for adjustable water height, underwater treadmills and resistance jets. Contact us today for a free informational DVD featuring our full line of aquatic therapy products and to learn how you can enjoy a HydroWorx pool for as little as $899 a month.
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